Rev. Frank J.
Through the life he lived each day, Frank J. Tamel exemplified what it means to be the hands and feet of the Lord he loved. There was no one who met him and left unchanged, and there was nothing that he wouldn’t do for all who were within his reach. It was easy to see that Frank adored his beloved wife, and together they raised children of honor, integrity, and compassion who made a difference in the world around them. Although he accomplished so much of which to be proud, he was a humble man who counted everything throughout his life’s journey as God’s divine provision and leading. Life will never be the same without Bishop Tamel here, but the lives of countless others will be forever changed because of his touch.
It was great to be an American during the Roaring Twenties as innovation fueled changes that transformed the way we lived our daily lives while prosperity was the dominant force. It was during this exciting time that a young couple from Cudahy, Wisconsin, welcomed a baby boy in the family home on Sommers Avenue on April 12, 1923. Frank J. was the oldest of four children born to his parents, Frank J. and Marie (Czerwinski) Tamel, and he was raised alongside his siblings, Julian “Tony,” Waldemar “Buddy,” and Mary Ann. His parents were of Lithuanian and Polish decent with his father working at the Ladish Company in Cudahy and serving as the secretary of his labor union while his mother managed the home. Frank was greatly impacted to see the love and respect that his grandparents received from their children, which would be something that would be carried on in his family.
Although the 1920s were good times, the Great Depression of the 1930s ushered in trying times. Despite the challenges of the day, it didn’t change the joy that could be found in the hearts of the Tamel family. Frank was adventurous with his partner in crime, his brother Tony. Together they kept their mother on her knees praying for their safety on a daily basis. Frank loved playing sports, especially softball. He was 11 when his uncles gave him a set of boxing gloves. Frank was a student at local schools including Cudahy High School where he entered the high school’s first boxing tournament before he even turned 14. His opponent was 19, but Frank gave it his all and was declared the winner after three grueling rounds. Boxing became his thing, only losing one bout while in high school. Frank went on to become an undefeated Golden Gloves champion in1941.
It was around the time of sweet 16 that Frank spotted two girls walking down the main street in Cudahy one evening – one girl he recognized and one he didn’t. Although he stopped to talk to the girl he knew, Frank couldn’t take his eyes off this mystery girl with pigtails and the most innocent smile. He discovered this intriguing young girl to be Angeline Vincer, and she lived on a small farm just outside of Cudahy. Frank did some work on her father’s farm just to be near her, and when Angie met Frank’s parents they were as smitten as Frank was.
Frank never formally proposed, but gradually it seemed that their conversations changed from being “I” to “we,” and with a desire to establish a life together they were married on October 17, 1942. Since he was due to be drafted, Frank enlisted in the Navy and reported for duty just three months after his wedding. His bride joined him in DeLand, Florida, where Frank III “Sandy” was born on August 16, 1944. Frank was deployed to the Pacific aboard the USS Lexington while Angie returned home with Sandy. After three years of service Frank was discharged from the Navy in January of 1946. Together Frank and Angie were blessed with two more children, Anthony on February 7, 1946, and Cheryl on December 14, 1950.
Back in Wisconsin Frank returned to his pre-service employment at the Ladish Company, which became unionized, and he became a local union member. Frank was later elected president of the Local 509 Blacksmiths Union for four terms and eventually became an international union representative. After seven years he accepted a position with the labor relations department at the Ladish Company.
Life was forever changed for Frank when he joined his wife and his parents attending an apostolic Pentecostal church in Milwaukee. God led Frank to the place where He graciously granted him repentance and completely changed his demeanor. Frank was baptized in the name of Jesus at Elim Tabernacle on Milwaukee’s north side and would later receive the baptism of the Holy Ghost.
Shortly thereafter, Frank and Angie became vibrant servants of the Lord. Frank felt led to teach Bible Studies, and he followed this call in 1965 when asked to teach a Bible study in the home of a black family in the inner city during a time of great racial tension. Seven members of the L.M. Hunt family were baptized as a result of Frank’s obedience. Bible studies have been the foundation of Frank’s ministry, bringing people not only wisdom and knowledge of the truth but also the strength to weather life’s storms.
After God moved him to establish a place of worship in South Milwaukee, Frank held the first service for Parkway Apostolic Church on May 3, 1972, in the basement of his sister’s home. When a small vacant church in Oak Creek became available, Frank and Angeline sold their house in Hales Corners and moved into the parsonage. The door of their home was always open to anyone in need. Lives were transformed because of their faithfulness and generosity, and the church continued to flourish. Because of their faithfulness, all of Frank and Angeline’s children are committed to serving God as well. In May of 2003, Frank’s son, Anthony, became Parkway’s senior pastor while Frank accepted the status of pastor emeritus.
During his sunset years Frank was deeply saddened with the death of his beloved Angie. His health also declined due to a heart condition.
Throughout his time of service to the Lord, Bishop Frank Tamel directly and indirectly affected the lives of countless people. He lived to preach the gospel and to share his passion by mentoring men who became the pastors of more than a dozen churches. Frank’s touch also spanned across the globe as Parkway Apostolic Church supported missionaries in Africa, Europe, South America, and Asia. A genuine leader and servant, he was appointed secretary of the Milwaukee’s Apostolic Alliance, a group of over 20 inner city churches. Through Frank’s life we are reminded that happiness is not found in what we have, but that it is through loving and serving others that we are richly blessed. He will be deeply missed and forever cherished.
Bishop Frank John Tamel died on January 20, 2014. Bishop Tamel is survived by his children, Frank (Sandra) Tamel III, Rev. Anthony (Diane) Tamel, and Cheryl (Juan) Rodriguez; grandchildren, Matthew Tamel, Jennifer (Adam) Lasik, Rebecca (John) Kettler, Melissa (Jeff) Leamy, Joseph (Theresa) Tamel, Michelle (Brad) Snow, Aimee (Rob) Jadrnicek, Andrew (Dawn) Rodriguez, and Aaron (Jessie) Rodriguez; brother, Waldemar “Buddy Tamel; sister, Mary Ann (Tamel) Wright; 15 great grandchildren; and spiritual family and friends. Bishop Tamel was preceded in death by his wife, Angeline Tamel, and brother, Julian “Tony” Tamel. Visitation will be held on Saturday, January 25th at Parkway Apostolic Church 10940 S. Nicholson Rd. Oak Creek, WI 53154 from 12:00 p.m. until time of the Funeral Service at 3:00 p.m. Private interment Forest Hill Memorial Park Oak Creek, WI. In lieu of flowers memorials to Parkway Apostolic Church for the advancement of young growing churches. Suminski LifeStory Funeral Homes. Niemann / Suminski (414) 744-5156. www.SuminskiFuneralHome.com.
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